Last weekend, May 16th – 18th, 14 volunteers from around Ireland met in Dublin for the inaugural Irish Red Cross Regional Restoring Family Links training course. The newly certified volunteers will work with families in their local regions who have been separated from, or lost contact with, family due to armed conflict, political upheaval, natural disaster, migration and other humanitarian crises.
The volunteers, from counties Westmeath, Dublin, Cork, Wicklow and Galway are the very first Restoring Family Links to be trained in Ireland. During the training weekend, they received practical guidance for providing the RFL service. As part of the training weekend they also received a training module on psychosocial support, child protection and cultural awareness, which will help them to understand how to address people from different cultures and ethnic backgrounds.
Restoring Family Links (RFL) is a free service which incorporates Tracing, Messaging and Family Reunification services. These services are designed to enable members of dispersed and separated families to exchange news, to rediscover each other’s whereabouts and to be reunited.
The 14 regional RFL volunteers will enable service users to access RFL service without the necessity of travelling to the Irish Red Cross head office in Dublin. The volunteers will work closely with Jennifer Wilson, the Irish Red Cross RFL Desk Officer in Dublin, to trace and contact family members around the world.
Information on our Tracing and Messaging services can be found on here in the following five languages: French, Spanish, Arabic, Somali and Russian.